Izy Hossack is the mastermind behind the popular blog, Top with Cinnamon. The talented recipe developer (and busy university student!) aims to create food with maximum flavor and minimum effort, without breaking the bank. Her second cookbook, The Savvy Cook, hits on these tenets and so much more. Meet Izy and read the story behind her incredible "chorizo" dip below.
Since going 90 percent vegetarian (I still eat meat or fish roughly once a month) a few years ago, I’ve found there’s not much that I miss about meat except for one thing: that umami kick it can lend to any dish. It’s especially noticeable for things like bacon and chorizo which, although you don’t need much of, can just elevate a dish and make it even more delicious.
One day at university, I was messing around trying to make a vegetarian Spanish chorizo. I’d seen people use wheat gluten to make meat substitutes, but I didn’t have any, so I ended up basing it on kidney beans. (Incidentally, I tried to bake some of it in a thin layer to dry it out into little bits, but that didn’t work at all.) I realized, though, that this chorizo-y bean spread I’d accidentally created was actually delicious just like that!
While I was still perfecting this dip for the book, I lent the recipe to my brother so he could make some for his friends. He came back saying everyone was raving about it and wanted the recipe, but as this was before the book came out, it was strictly under lock and key. It became obvious once my book eventually came out that this was the recipe that people would remember; I was tagged in so many Instagram stories of people making and loving it for its spicy, rich flavor and ease.
If you’re still not convinced, throw in some more chili flakes and think of it like a vegetarian ‘nduja―a super spicy, spreadable Italian sausage―and apply it as you would that.
It’s now a staple for me. I use it in the obvious hummus-like ways (dip for crudités or crackers, spread into a sandwich with roasted veg), but also in ways I’d have used chorizo: on toast with a poached egg, dolloped onto pizza, or into frittatas. It’s a crowd-pleaser which, after serving it at my supper clubs last summer, became dubbed THAT chorizo dip―a title I definitely think it deserves.
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2/3 cup /2 3/4 ounces / 75g sundried tomatoes in oil
- 3 tablespoons sundried tomato oil from the jar
- 1 1/3 cups / 8 1/2 ounces / 240g cooked red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or grinding of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons miso paste, soy sauce, or tamari
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon teaspoon granulated sugar or 1 dried date, pitted
- 1/4 cup water
How would you use this delightfully smoky dip? Tell us below!